Last Saturday, Dad, Suzanne, and I had the privilege of visiting Mt. St. Helen’s most decorated lava tube. It is called Pillar’s of Hercules Cave. This cave has many lava stalactites and stalagmites, which were formed while the lava was still hot – lava formations don’t grow all the time like limestone formations do. To read more about how the Mt. St. Helens lava tubes formed, visit the Oregon Grotto’s web site at: http://www.oregongrotto.com/mtsthelens.shtml
This cave is so fragile that the Forest Service has gated the entrance and will only give the key to people they know they can trust. Even if you could get the key, the cave entrance is very small, hard to find, and far from any trails or roads. Fortunately, through the Oregon Grotto, we have a friend named Kim Luper who has access to the key and knows where the entrance is. In fact, he was on the caving trip that first found this cave back in the 1980s.
Besides stalactites and stalagmites, the cave also boasts flow marks, roots, and bones, all of which are worth a few pictures. Luckily I have a digital camera or I would have had to spend a lot of money developing pictures. I took a total of 315 still pictures.
The weather was pretty nice on the hike to the cave, but it poured on us on the way out. We still had a great time. When you look at the pictures, be sure to notice the “Cave Suit.” Pictures are available at: http://www.farnellfamily.com/pictures/Spelunking/2004-10_Pillars_of_Hercules
Kim made a few comedy pictures that might make you laugh at: